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Thailand’s CP Group expands e-commerce with purchase of HK-based Chilindo

BANGKOK, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Thailand’s top agro-industrial conglomerate, Charoen Pokphand Group, said on Friday it will buy Hong Kong-based e-commerce platform Chilindo for $18 million, expanding its digital business as consumer behaviour changes.

The acquisition by the company’s digital arm, Ascend Commerce, will complement its online shopping WeMall platform and develop Thailand’s digital economy as the e-commerce market grows amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, chief executive Suphachai Chearavanont said in a statement.

WeMall competes with Alibaba’s Lazada, Sea’s Shopee and JD Central, a joint venture between top retailers, Central Group and JD.com.

Thailand is well-known for online shoppers buying directly from merchants through social media platforms like Instagram.

“Chilindo’s plan to enter the international e-commerce market will increase the ability of Thai e-commerce brands to compete on an international level,” Suphachai added as telecommunication operators roll out 5G technology.

CP Group owns Thailand’s second-largest telco operator, True Corporation Pcl, which won 5G licenses in February. (Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng Editing by Robert Birsel)

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